Today The Royal Photographic Society and Allen & Overy LLP announce the award winners of The Society's 152nd International Print Exhibition. A total prize fund of £6,500, provided by Allen & Overy, will be awarded in conjunction with The Society's Gold, Silver and Bronze medals. The theme of this year's Allen & Overy Award was ‘New Horizons’.
Almost 2,000 prints were submitted from over 500 photographers worldwide. 121 have been selected for this exhibition (on display to the public from 20 May 2009 at Allen & Overy's offices in Spitalfields, London).
The selection panel was chaired by The Society’s Exhibitions Committee Chairman, Roy Robertson FRPS Visual Art Photographer, and included Lewis Blackwell, Author & Creative Advisor and former global creative head of Getty Images, Caroline Hyman FRPS Fine Art Photographer, Lord (George) Robertson Visual Art Photographer & Author and joint founder of The Parliamentary Photographic Group, and Tim Rudman FRPS Fine Art Photographer, Printer & Author. The Allen & Overy Award image was selected by Eileen Kelliher, partner, Allen & Overy, from a shortlist compiled by the selection panel from entries to this category.
Roy Robertson FRPS said: “The final exhibition fully represents the diversity of work submitted, and reflects the desire throughout to promote new and individual images, and to display outstanding Award winning images. We are delighted to be working with Allen & Overy again this year."
Lewis Blackwell commented: "When we finally came to make our award decisions, after extensive reviewing and discussion of all the selections, we somehow achieved a good representation of the range of content without ever having forced it. The winners emerged and while strong cases were made for different favourites, we really resolved our discussions and came behind the final decisions."
Awards – Gold, Silver and Bronze
The Gold Award winner is Michael Birt for his print titled ‘Lindsay Duncan’. Michael will receive the £2000 Allen & Overy prize.
Michael Birt said: "Lindsay Duncan has a face for the world, luminant eyes, a perfect hue and a graceful form. The tousled hair partly covers her eye to disturb what is a symmetrical face. The cropped head to the right adds tension and anchors the image to the frame, to entertain the eye.
Lindsay eased her way into a busy studio, elegantly and with purpose. The minimal makeup was expertly applied and we began the portrait. What a sitter gives is as important as what the photographer extracts. Her gaze bestows a physiological acuity, which partners Lindsay’s beauty inspiringly well."
2 x Silver – Allen & Overy prize of £1,000 each:
- Bill Jackson for ‘Pinhead’
- Toby Smith for ‘The Pier’
3x Bronze – Allen & Overy prize of £500 each:
- Max Catterall for ‘London’
- Amanda Bollini for ‘Two Peas in a Pod’
- David Maitland FRPS for ‘Who eats Who?’
Allen & Overy Award
The theme of this year’s Allen & Overy Award was ‘New Horizons’, chosen to reflect three themes central to Allen & Overy’s business – global growth, emerging markets and innovative thinking.
The Allen & Overy Award went to Yoshikazu Hayashi from Japan, for his print titled, ‘Construction Site’. Yoshikazu Hayashi will receive the £1000 prize from Allen & Overy.
Yoshikazu Hayashi said: "In November 2008, I was passing through a construction site in Shizuoka Prefecture. The building materials were being lowered from a height, being passed from person to person, to ground level. Seeing the construction work taking place for the first time, the picture was taken with a really fresh mind. To emphasise the figures, I lightened them, made the building darker and reduced the colour tone."
Eileen Kelliher, partner from Allen & Overy, commented: "The print's literal interpretation of the brief combines an innovative use of perspective with an exploration of the mechanical nature of construction in a global context."
Under 25s Gold Award
Another highlight of the 152nd exhibition is the Under 25s Gold Award. Introduced two years ago, in celebration of the print exhibition’s 150th anniversary, the award is designed to encourage and reward young photographers at the start of their careers.
This year’s winner is 23-year-old Sean Lamoureux from USA, for his print ‘MO1:Persistent Jury’. Sean will receive an Olympus E520 Digital SLR, kindly donated by Olympus.
This work is part of a series of photographs responding to personal experience and physical sensations associated with visual and auditory responses to cinema and written narrative. His body of staged portrait photography endeavours to create dramatic stills, elevating commonplace emotions to the cinematic stage. Four other photographers under 25 are represented in the Exhibition.
Caroline Hyman said: "It was so encouraging to see the talent displayed by the Under 25 entries. This was a hard category to judge as there were so many powerful and excellent images."
Tim Rudman commented: "It was especially gratifying to learn after the judging that seven images were accepted in the under 25 age group and that one of the Society’s medal winners is just 19 years old. I hope this will encourage young people with an interest in photography to submit work in future."